We rely on hearing all day. It warns us of danger, enables us to communicate effectively and easily with others, and it allows us to learn new things based on the stimuli around us. This is even more pronounced in children when they are developing core social and cognitive skills.
Hearing loss and other forms of hearing impairment can be a major setback to young children, and it can be very difficult to diagnose; after all, your son or daughter has little or no experience of perfect hearing, and they may not have the means to be able to tell you of their symptoms. Fortunately, there are symptoms you can look out for yourself.
They Don’t Answer
Kids can have highly selective hearing, especially when they are busy watching their favorite show or playing their favorite game. However, if you find that they very rarely respond to you speaking or calling their name, it may not be the case that they are just too wrapped up in their own world. Failing to answer you once or twice may not be an indication of hearing loss, but if it is a regular occurrence, look for other symptoms or have a hearing doctor conduct tests and screening.
They Are Startled When You Enter A Room
If your child responds when they see you, but not when you call them from another room, this is another possible sign of impairment. This indicates that they do respond to you, which further highlights the likelihood that they can’t hear you. If you make them jump when entering a room, this means that they didn’t hear you approaching and were startled by your appearance.
The TV Volume Got Louder
If you find that the TV or music volumes are gradually increasing, but your child is still straining to hear, this means that they cannot hear the volume properly. Determine the level yourself by listening to their shows and music with them on occasion. Try to see whether they are directing one of their ears towards the sound of the TV. This could be an indication that they have poor hearing in one ear.
Their Speech Hasn’t Developed Yet
Children develop at different paces, and while some are busy making noises and attempting speech by the age of 12 months, some do not speak until several months after this age. It is possible that a failure to speech merely means that they aren’t ready yet. On the other hand, it could be a sign of hearing loss.
Children mimic the noises that they hear others make in order to try and elicit a response. If they can’t hear you, their siblings, or other people talking, then they have nothing to copy. If your child is not speaking but is mouthing words, then this could show that they are seeing, but not hearing, the interaction between other people.
Early Intervention Is Important
Hearing loss is difficult for people of all ages, and while it is something that we often associate with the aging process, it does still occur in children. Ensure that you take your son or daughter for their required screening and if you are in any doubt as to whether they can hear properly, have them checked. Early identification and intervention are not only important to improve their chances of being able to hear properly, but it could aid in their social and cognitive development too.
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